Gomis’s handheld cameras work to keep up with the actors, who seem to move with rare freedom, but he also stages some exquisite and complex flourishes.
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Alain Gomis never reconciles throughout how the film's disparate parts are meant to fit together.
This is a formally complex work, too long perhaps and occasionally opaque in its meaning, but a daring ride to those wanting to glimpse the best of African cinema.
Mr. Gomis’s cinematic style is spectacularly multifaceted.
Gomis’ latest is far from the miserablist issue drama that synopsis portends, instead weaving a sensual, sometimes hopeful, sometimes disturbing urban tapestry with threads of image, sound, poetry, and song.
It’s intense if somewhat choppy filmmaking, although the passion of the amateur cast and vividness of the Kinshasa locations help make up for the narrative shortcomings.
Undemonstrative but at the same time oddly compelling - rather like its eponymous main character - Felicité is a challenging, perhaps overlong, but also quietly resonant slice of new African cinema.
The film’s tonal range is formidable enough to suggest that this director may be a major talent who’s now emerging from relative obscurity, thanks to the Berlin prize and subsequent attention at festivals in Toronto and New York. It’s always exciting to discover someone who’s eager to toss the manuals aside.
Félicité is an emotionally effective heart-tugger, thanks largely to Véro Tshanda Beya's dignified lead performance.
The movie is a virtual documentary of city sights and moods, and also a bitter exposé of a country without a social safety net.